Most of the time it seems that when the New England Patriots are making deals during the NFL Draft it’s to move back. Not this year, when head coach Bill Belichick moved up both times in the first round to get the players he wanted. Both on the defensive side, which the team can sure use some help in, and the first being Syracuse’s defensive end Chandler Jones, who is 6’5″/266 pounds, and is the brother of Arthur Jones (Baltimore Ravens) and Jon Jones (UFC Light Heavyweight Champion). With a body like his, a good speed for his frame, and the ability to grow even more Chandler is definitely what the Pats’ coaching staff was look for when drafting.
Jones was one of those players who watched their stock rise high into the first round with a late surge. From what I read and heard the DE out of the Salt City was brought in by a lot of the teams for pre draft visits. All of this had to do with how well the young man played last season, even if he was out for almost half of it, getting 4.5 sacks and many hits on the QB coming off the line with an explosiveness that many NFL franchises crave out of their rookies. What he will have to develop at the next level is some good moves as strength and speed are not going to do it alone in the NFL. What he already has, from the sounds of both his former coaches and the NFL scouts, is the willingness to work hard and learn.
Some scouts and analysts also believe that Jones is quick and football IQ enough to either play defensive end on a 4-3 scheme or fall to the outside line backer spot on a 3-4 defense. And while I think that New England will have him on the field from the get go come September I would remind all that Chandler Jones will have a learning curve and to expect greatness from year one might be setting the young man up for failure, or at least disappointment. On the other hand I expect that down the line his name will be one mentioned when it comes to being an essential piece to the Patriots’ defense.